CIL2007: Keynote #1

I got to hear Lee Rainie give the keynote at CIL last year – I have to say I’m glad that he gave a different talk this year – I was a bit worried that it wasn’t going to be a new keynote.

Lee talked about Web 2.0 and what it means to libraries. He asked us bloggers to remember to note for everyone else that librarians are the people he loves the most! 🙂

After giving us the general web 2.0 definition that we’ve all see 100 times he showed us the Ask a Ninja Explains Podcasting YouTube video that he felt showed the grand meaning of Web 2.0. Unfortunately the sound wasn’t that great for us – so I have no idea what the ninja said – I’ll just have to watch it again later.

Lee says there are 6 hallmarks of Web 2.0 that matter to libraries. I guess 6 is the lucky Web 2.0 number because a lot of other speakers/writers have also come up with six.

Lee’s six are:

  1. The Internet has become the computer
    • The number of people who use computers and the number that use the Internet has become nearly indistinguishable
    • 70% of adults & 93% of teens use the Internet
    • Broadband and wireless access is growing
  2. Tens of millions of Americans, especially the young, are creating and sharing content online
    • Young people in particular want to share their comments (and they want comments in return)
    • Blogs are an example of this – and blogs are not just what the media says, they contain important information on real life issues
  3. Even more internet users are accessing content created by others
    • Reading blogs
    • Wikipedia
  4. Many are sharing what they know and feel online
    • – people are rating and ranking people and products
    • People are tagging content.
  5. Tens of thousands are contributing their know how and processing power
  6. Online Americans are customizing their content
    • My Yahoo!, My Google
    • RSS Feeds

I look at this list and 2 items strike me – #4 & 5 – the fact is that our users want to help us create content and yet as librarians we block them out – we treat our content as sacred – and it is – but I think there is a time when we have to let go of some control and see what happens. I’ll go over this more in some of my later summaries because it was a re-occuring theme for me today. Lee shares my sentiments and says that users want to be able to do all of these things on our sites too!!

Less continued on to share with us five issues that libraries and all online participants must struggle to address.

  1. Navigation – we’re moving from linear to nonlinear (breadcrumbs to tag clouds)
  2. Context – we need to learn to see connections in the dis-aggregated information
  3. Focus – we need to practice reflection and deep thinking, right now we practice constant partial attention – we’re always connected. This prevents us from being able to spend time contemplating (note from me – blogging does this for me – even though I am plugged in)
  4. Skepticism – we need to learn to evaluate info (well not really we, but we need to teach others
  5. Ethical behavior – understaning the rules of cyberspace.

Lee ended with the Web 2.0 video that I wrote about earlier. It was great sitting in a room of people who hadn’t seen it and listening to their reactions – at the same time it’s a bit shocking to me to see that so many people hadn’t seen the video. I think that as bloggers we just assume that the majority of people know what we know – simply because we read about it on the biblioblogosphere – when in reality we are a pretty small population among librarians. I found this in later talks throughout the day – speakers would say “I’m sure you’ve heard of …” and a lot of faces went blank.

[update] See the slides [/update]

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